Proper mowing practices are essential to your lawn's health and maintenance. Mowing too short damages grass root systems, thins the lawn, decreases drought and disease resistance, and increases your weed population. Please set your mowing height to at least 3 inches for the spring, and try not to cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade per mowing (cut when your grass is 4-5 inches high). Keep your cutting blade sharp, and do not collect your clippings (unless you have grass clumps), as they return nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
Mulching your grass clippings into the lawn is more valuable for your lawn as it returns nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
Your lawn needs at least 1" of water per week from May to mid-June, and should increase to 1½" per week throughout the summer months. Whether the moisture comes from rain water or your sprinkler system doesn't matter as long as you are getting adequate moisture into the soils. Use a rain gauge to check the output of your sprinkler zones and individual heads to ensure even watering. Water deeply 3-4 times per week, rather than daily. Also water as early in the morning as you can, when possible.
The best thing you can do to fight disease on your lawn is to mow properly and keep your lawn watered. Also aerate one to two times a year and keep your lawn fertilized. The proper care gives you a healthier and more resilient lawn, protecting it from disease and harsh weather. If you have lawn problems, please feel free to call us for a diagnosis. DON'T want until the damage is bad to call us!
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If you have empty spots less than 4 inches in diameter in your lawn, fertilizing will help your grass fill most of these in (unless the spots are shade damage, disease or dog damage). Rake out dead thatch and vigorously loosen the topsoil, add some fresh topsoil and seed, then cover with straw. Sprinkle the seeded areas every day for 15 minutes; seed will germinate best when temperatures reach the mid-60's or higher. Grass seed germinates in 10-30 days. Be patient and water faithfully - but do not over-water!
This is quack grass, or other perennial field-type grass. Unlike crabgrass, which is an annual grass, these unwanted grasses can only be killed with a "Round-up" type product (which kills all grass and plants). If you choose to kill this grass, spray Round-Up at targeted grass plus an additional foot beyond, be sure targeted grass has died (takes up to 5-10 days), then tear it up, add topsoil and re-seed with a good mix of grass seed.
The light brown spots in the area where your dog went this winter are burns from his/her urine. You'll need to water heavily to help flush out the ammonia, also sprinkle some garden lime(Gypsum) on the area and water it in generously. The lime will help fade the pet spots quicker by lowering the acid levels in the soil. This along with regular fertilizing will help the affected areas to recover faster.
If you are seeing brown patches in your lawn, go to the end of the brown patch to the green part of your lawn. Pull up on the green grass, if it pulls up like a piece of carpeting, you probably have grubs and you may see white grubs in the soil. If you do have grubs, give us a call to schedule a treatment